Roofing at Carver Hawkeye

The University of Iowa Carver-Hawkeye Arena – Storm-damaged Arena Roof Finds Eye-Catching New Life in Recycled Walkway

SITUATION: The University of Iowa's Carver-Hawkeye Arena hosts some of the most intense athletic competition in the country, seating 15,500 college basketball fans and serving as a venue for concerts, sports camps and commencements. But when a hailstorm and a tornado came to town on the same day, the Carver-Hawkeye Arena itself was confronted by a powerful competitor that damaged the 25-year-old vinyl roof. The storm damage called for an immediate roof replacement within two months to avoid delaying the start of the school's fall basketball season.

Vinyl as the Sustainable Roofing Solution

Pleased with the success and results of the old vinyl roof preceding the severe weather, University of Iowa's roof consultants recommended Sika Sarnafil's vinyl EnergySmart Roof® to replace the older Sarnafil membrane. Because vinyl can be recycled at the end of its useful life, Sika Sarnafil was able to transform the old vinyl roofing membrane into new roofing walkway membrane. The solution was not only environmentally friendly, but proved to be a more cost-effective choice than paying for dumpsters and the associated tipping fees at a landfill.

In the commercial, low slope roofing market, vinyl is the only material with an established recycling system in place. Because it is a thermoplastic, vinyl can be reprocessed and recycled repeatedly into new products, including roofing membranes. All it requires is a recycler and the technology to process the material into new membranes and roofing accessories, which Sika Sarnafil has.

While the new low slope roof was being installed, the old one was rolled up, sent to a Cedar Rapids recycler for grinding, and then returned to Sika Sarnafil to be processed into the new roofing membrane products. Fabricated with an aggressive tread to protect both the roof and the roofer, Sarnatred walkway membrane had historically been manufactured of virgin vinyl. Today, half the content of these pads is recycled.

Despite the narrow timeframe and the added vinyl recycling component, the Carver-Hawkeye Arena project was finished in one phase and ahead of schedule, in time for the start of the Hawkeye basketball season.


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  • Cool Roof Resource Center

    Scientifically backed information on the benefits of cool roofs.

  • Sustainability News

    Cool Roof Clearinghouse Launched
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    Recycling To Be Priority of Vinyl Roofing Industry
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  • Customer Testimonial

    “Now that we've handled one recycling project, I think we will look into [vinyl] for other jobs.” – Byron Warnick, president of CEI Roofing of Dallas, Tex, contractor for The University of Iowa's Carver-Hawkeye Arena project